Raw talent first performance

I’ve been representing Nayvia for some months now. She’s a talented girl that never took any sort of voice education but still can do what you can see in the video of this post.

It’s a very special and satisfactory challenge that actually demands more patience than it usually needs. It’s special because you’re building an artist from scratch, you’re trying to let the new talent learn a ton of new things, learn how to communicate with musicians that actually have been in the business for a while. It’s a constant struggle with simple but huge insecurities and interests.

It’s satisfactory, because every step Nayvia takes, don’t matter how big it is, it feels like it’s being a huge one. Jon O’Hara and myself are always having our jaw dropped when we hear her during rehearsal. Every time she sings I can see how she gets more and more convinced that maybe her voice it’s her biggest asset, I can see her dancing while practicing her song and having a dumb smile that she can not contain.

Jon O’Hara, just finished Nayvia’s first song, they have been rehearsing and working on its details. In less than a month they will be recording it in a professional studio with some professional artist and professional sound engineers. I’m not sure if she realizes how big is this recording going to be. Jon and myself are convincing some artists from Berklee to get involved in this project and we are getting good response so this dream is about to come true.

Next step it’s making a photo shoot to Nayvia so hopefully next time you read something from me, you’ll see a beautiful picture of her in the post.

Music Video of the Week : Justin Timberlake’s ‘Tunnel Vision’

Music :

While this song is not the hit single of JT’s the 20/20 experience album, it definitely stands out as a quality track. It was written and produced by Timberlake, Timbaland, James Fauntleroy, and Jerome Harmon. It features audible content from Timbaland who lent his signature beat-making and beat-boxing skills for the creation of this track.

The instrumental strikes as quite sinister right from the start. It builds off an overdriven vocal sample, what sounds like a vacuous trumpet-like melodic line and a high pitched arpeggio. After a few bars they give into into a bass-heavy beat with clear-cut side stick hits and some of Timbaland’s infamous ad-libs and vocal scratch sounds. On the vocal front JT taps into both his lower and higher vocal ranges throughout and shows he is comfortable in either of the two, adding to the dramatic effect of the song.  His arpeggiated backing vocals echo the layered soundscape created by Timbaland. This indubitably allows them to feed off one another as far as creative techniques and arrangement go.

With regards to the lyrical content, JT talks about this ‘Tunnel Vision’ he has for his love interest, describing his infatuation in almost voyeuristic terms. His writing echoes his previous works in some ways; lyrical themes from ‘Cry Me a River’ or ‘My Love’ appear throughout this track.

Video :

The suave grey texture of the video matches the sinister vibe of the track. JT shows off his sweet moves that he is already quite known for and uses the syncopated beats to the advantage of his choreography. The ‘cool’ factor of the video is Timbaland appearance – or more accurately his mouth – beat-boxing along to the song. The more controversial element of the song comes in then. Timberlake decided to venture in the nude-art territory when he decided to have topless women feature in this music video. Not only are these women topless, but he dances fully clothed alongside them via projector montage. The video had to be taken off Youtube a few hours after its release and re-submitted with a content warning page to filter the traffic to the video. Now this may not be unpleasant to the majority of the male population viewing this video, however it feels a bit ‘déja-vu’ to have a playboy-looking type artist dancing alongside topless models.

Robin Thicke and Pharrell used this concept over the summer to release the video for their song ‘Blurred Lines’. It feels like the video to their song acts more as a sales tool than anything else though. The women casted for the part – very attractive albeit – are more there for show it feels. Thicke played off of the summer vibe and used this as a marketing technique; the ladies are walking around, topless, and randomly-timed hashtag words flash up on the screen in the hopes of brainwashing the audience. This is where JT differentiates his approach. The models are not striking random poses like they’re part of the furniture, they’re supplely dancing with a more ‘artsy’ feel to it. Kaleidoscopic patterns are projected overtop of them all the while and lyrics appear on the backdrop in a blended and non-aggressive, non-promotional way. Once again, the male population watching the video might not be complaining. But unfortunately, because of the length of the track the concept loses impact a good minute or two before the video ends.

Tunnel Vision :

Executive Producer: Jeff Nicholas
Produced by Jonathan Craven and Nathan Scherrer
Directed by Jonathan Craven, Simon McLoughlin and Jeff Nicholas for The Uprising Creative
Director Of Photography: Sing Howe Yam
Editor: Jacqueline London

 

An Album of Sheet Music: Beck’s Latest Collaboration

“Art begins in imitation and ends in innovation.”- Mason Cooley

Back in the day, people used to buy music.  Waaaay back.  Sheet music.  If I told you that an artist sold 54 million copies of a single song in 1937, would you believe me?  Well, this is a real thing, and it puts the notion of success and popularity into perspective.

There was a time when music was conceived, then notated, then interpreteted, then performed, and if it was really worth it, then recorded.  Bing Crosby wrote a song called “Sweet Leilani” in  ‘37, and everyone heard it.  Because half the nation owned it on paper.  They bought it, they went home and learned it, and when it was ready, they shared it.

The word ‘share’ has a different definition in this century.  It implies a certain dichotomy between autonomy and community; that an individual has made or discovered something that he feels compelled to ‘share’ with the world, or strangers, or his friends.  Back then, it happened in a living room.  Not impulsively, but after consideration, dedication and finally presentation.

Beck has done something pretty cool.  Instead of releasing an album, he went back to the basics.  This summer, his newest music became available.  As sheet music.  No interpretation, no recordings, no cheating.  This summer, it was announced that Beck’s new project Song Reader would be released in December 2012, featuring twenty songs as sheet music only, with full-color art for each song, in a hardcover carrying case.  On www.songreader.net you can find the tunes performed by normal people, real musicians, and Mac Miller.  YouTube is full of them, too.

beck image

The genius here is way more than a gimmicky retro homage to get people to create and be inspired.  He has somehow given birth to a viral situation that will only generate more material and interpretation.  It is a different kind of innovation; he is appealing to the new crop of consumers.  In his ‘Loser’ heyday, people actually bought CDs.  Now, he has still done most of the work, but he has invited the community to record the tunes themselves, which is appealing to this new user generated generation.

On the days of sheet music and it’s purpose of generating performance, Beck said, “That time is long gone, but the idea of it makes one wonder where that impulse went. As for these songs, they’re here to be brought to life—or at least to remind us that, not so long ago, a song was only a piece of paper until it was played by someone. Anyone. Even you.”

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THINKBAND 10: Bye bye Warner Music PT2 (Welcome Spotify).

As-Metallica-Arrives-on-Spotify-Napster-s-Sean-Parker-Makes-Peace-with-Lars-Ulrich

If last week’s announcement about the split between Metallica and Warner Music wasn’t surprising enough then you are ready to see Napster’s founder and current Spotify partner Sean Parker having a friendly press event along with his new partner Lars Ulrich from Metallica. Yes, Parker and Lars together… pure surrealism

If you are reading this blog I’m sure you know what I’m talking about. Just in case you didn’t know Metallica sued Napster for several copyrights infringements back in 2000, a move led by the band’s drummer Lars Ulrich. Not only the band image was damaged by this but their global fanbase turned against them and Lars became one of the most hated guys in the music industry, and memes like the following appeared everywhere…

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But yesterday Spotify’s CEO Daniel Ek along with Parker announced their brand new partnership with Metallica which represents the second big strategic move from the band in less than a year (actually in less than a week) so now we can guess why the band split with Warner Music. We all know that copyright licensing can be a real nightmare nowadays and in the end of the only winner is the lawyers’ team.

But apart from avoid losing time and money, what exactly is Spotify going to gain with this partnership? Apart from the obvious (more advertising and memberships to say the less) we can suspect that Spotify will take advantage of the band’s wide catalog, immense global market and diverse psychography to develop strategies that can integrate more and more partnerships in an exponential way (streaming of the band’s never ending tour performances, for example).

So what could be the next big move for Metallica? Looks like the genius musicians turned into brilliant businessmen…

THINKBAND 6: Jagermeister delivers!

They are delivering CONSISTENCY, a simple word but hard to reach in the times when if something doesn’t work for a brand it’ll move into the next “big” thing.
Since their debut in 2002 the Jagermeister music tour has delivered the most extreme rock bands out there, from Slayer to Slipknot to Unearth. So, are metal bands selling that well nowadays to keep sponsoring them? The answer is YES. But not because these bands are selling billions of records, but for something they share and that give value to the brand’s equity.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“With sales increasing up to 40% per year since 1985, Jägermeister is the most popular drink nobody likes.” Sally Hogsheads concluded on her “How to Fascinate” case study about Jagermeister, she also concluded that this phenomenon was due to 7 fascination triggers of attraction:

MYSTIQUE – Why we’re intrigued by unanswered questions
LUST – Why we’re seduced by the anticipation of pleasure
ALARM – Why we take action at the threat of negative consequences
POWER – Why we focus on people and things that control us
VICE – Why we’re tempted by novelty and “forbidden fruit”
PRESTIGE – Why we fixate on rank and respect
TRUST – Why we’re loyal to reliable options

If you think about it, these triggers are definitely shared with most of the extreme metal bands that take part of the Jagermeister Music Tour. Think of “Angel of death” by Slayer, it’s not just about the combination of visceral lyrics and loud riffs, it has a mystique on it’s own. The same with Korn’s lust and Slipknot’s power. This is not an extreme metal blog -I need one!- but you get the idea. In the end of the day the brand gets the most loyal FANS (not consumers!!) worldwide, just like heavy metal.

Near the end of her case study, the author concludes “Jägermeister has no competition. This brand is irrationally, irresistibly irreplaceable. A category of one.”

Looks like a virgin territory, headbanging entrepreneurs ready?
Jagermusic website:
http://www.jagermusic.com
Lastly, you can find the Sally Hogshead article here:

Thinkband 5: A story to sell.

In ancient times when a plebeian tried to approach the king to ask for something he had to make an offering. This offerings could be slaves, state of the art weapons, land, or just gold. Despite that the plebeian had the opportunity to talk with the king, nothing was taken for granted, it was just a right to talk to the majesty.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Although it’d be interesting to have some lands for my own negotiation purposes, I’d prefer to talk about a similar story that might interest you as possible band managers: two weeks ago a couple of colleagues and me went to a venue we targeted to show the managers/owners a new startup band that we are promoting called Puerto Argento. We felt more than confident since this band has three conservatory members with undoubtedly quality in terms of musicianship, performance and charisma. I had a well prepared speech to talk about how good they are, the possible negotiation to set up the show, the benefits for the venue and even some small talk to break the ice. What could go wrong?

After waiting for 20 minutes we finally approached to this guy and start talking about business, I spent a few minutes introducing myself and my colleagues, describing the band and talking about how this band could be beneficial for both sides. Although he was paying attention and making eye contact, some problems appeared just when I was starting to describe the band’s musical style. His cellphone rings 3 times in a row, he answers them all, one of the waiters rush to give him a document and two people interrupt my speech with effusive smiles and handshakes. At the end of the conversation he had no idea how the band looked and sounded like, therefore no negotiation could be done.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One week later we had our first EPK ready for Puerto Argento so we grabbed an iPad and approached to a similar venue and showed it to the owner. In just seconds he turned off the cellphone ring, called their 2 waitress and said “hey guys, check this out”, then 30 seconds later he whispers to himself “look at the singer, she has a beautiful voice”. He shown immediate interest in booking the band gave me his business card for the follow up coordinations. Now we are closing the deal with really good benefits for this promising band in the long term.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s the EPK we used as today’s plebeians:

Thinkband 4: The best ideas come from the most basic questions.

There are quite a few apps and websites that I can’t live without right now, all of them share something in common: they were born from very basic questions that we all ask ourselves everyday. It’s hard to believe that some of these ideas were created just about a couple of years ago (months in some cases). Since you are probably a musician or a music fan I’ll show you a couple of great apps/websites that came from these basic needs.

MUSICIANS
Question: ¿Where can I find a drummer that shares my music taste, live in a nearby area and is available RIGHT NOW?
Idea- Fandalism: gives you the ideal band member in just seconds, you can do the search with lots of relevant filters to match style, area, age, amongst others.


Q: ¿Where can I find REAL backing tracks? (if you are a musician you know what I mean, we all hate midi-based backing tracks)
I: Jammit: gives you the possibility of having the actual songs of your preference by channels, in an exclusive mixing software platform. If you are a musician you’ll love it:

FANS

Q: ¿When is my favourite artist going to play here, in my city? (without having to surf for each artist’s tour)
I- Bandsintown: gives you the chance to track your favourite artists in a one-only step for the first time, then it uses the built in GPS to determine your exact position, giving you the dates, prices and, since it’s integrated with Facebook, you can see which of your friends are also attending the desired gig.

Finally, I’d like to share a few questions that I have right now:

Q: Which bands will open for Fear Factory’s concert here in Valencia? (I did my research and couldn’t find anything about this, as usual for startup bands)
I: A community for bands that are just starting out and are opening for big artists that you are tracking on Bandsintown, so a partnership with them can be convenient for promoting this soon-to-be-wellknown bands.

Q: Am I the only one going to Barcelona to see Steve Vai in December?
I: A Facebook app that detects the friends of your friends that are planning to take a short/long trip to see their favourite artists, so your direct friends can introduce them and have a safe new musical friendship that can last just for the concert or for life.

Q: Where can I find a place to play with my band right now?
I: Yes, Tickstage again, but I still have the same question: thinkband-open-think-tank-for-the-music-industry

What kind of questions do YOU have right now? You may become a successful music entrepreneur soon.

THINKBAND 2: Be a 121 musician and start making money NOW.

If you liked the idea of TICKSTAGE from my last post (https://intermediaries.wordpress.com/2012/09/28/thinkband-open-think-tank-for-the-music-industry) but thought that it would be only possible to reach for rich investors or wealthy entrepreneurs well, this time I’ll be discussing about a very simple idea, affordable for most musicians: 121 strategy to sell your music directly to your client’s needs.

But let’s focus on the problem set first:

PROBLEM

Bands aren’t making (enough) money. The times of playing in big arenas are part of the past. And we all think: wouldn’t it be nice to receive a fair amount of money just like any other job? But wait, what if you start working with your band as a real job? For example, freelance designers work their $·”$ses off to get paid, and they usually start making projects for their friends, relatives and network in general. Now, what if people pay for something they really, really want to hear from you? If you have a band with very TALENTED musicians on board continue reading, if you are not sure GET some good musicians first and continue reading…

IDEA

Some basics to get birth to the idea: people love seeing themselves in multimedia content that is RELEVANT for them, some of these contents are special occasions as birthdays, weddings, welcome parties, you name it. That is no other than creating EXPERIENCE. Now, everyone is talking about brand experience but just a few brands had been able to develop 121 marketing, with name and surname products or campaigns on it. BUT, actually musicians can do it in a very clever, creative way.
So here’s the idea: make your friends your first clients, pick 5 of them and charge $50 to make the song they NEED to accomplish something, for example a guy that wants to apologize to her girlfriend but doesn’t know how, or a girl that just wants to say something but is not sure about how to say it, or even a couple that want to make their recently born baby a very special song. You new clients will have the right to pick the subject and MAYBE some lines for the lyrics, the music should be ENTIRELY yours and your friends should know about it, obviously they have to like the kind of music you are doing. Then you can make multimedia content in Youtube (about 1 day of work with iMovie and some photos or videoclips your clients can facilitate) and the people for whom you made it will take care of getting it viral: they will share it everywhere with everyone.

RESULTS

Now you made $250 for this experiment. In worst cases you’ll feel it’s not your thing but still earned some cash to get new lovely gear. In best cases you’ll find that more and more people is getting into your proposal of custom made music (thanks to viral factors) and you’ll have a lot of work and nice amount of money by the end of the month, that is what it’s all about right?

Note: his is a think tank post series to get your mind outside the box, not a secret formula. This ideas MAY work if you develop them with ideas of your own.

THINKBAND: OPEN THINK TANK FOR THE MUSIC INDUSTRY.

This post series will discuss some ideas to help musicians, music entrepreneurs and managers think outside of the box and take creativity as their main tool. The first post will present is a business idea I had 2 weeks ago that I’d like to share.

TICKSTAGE: YOUR TICKET TO PLAY ONSTAGE

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Problem: musicians beg to play live when they are starting out, even if they have a high quality as performers there are some facts they have to deal when trying to get a deal with a venue:

1-    High costs of a personal manager and booking agent.

2-    No contacts or known network to make a deal with a venue.

3-    Dissonance with the music the venue they are trying to reach (ex: a punk band playing in a jazz club)

4-    No strategic plan on touring, just isolated gigs.

So here’s the idea: create a web portal designed to give musicians the change to play live WHERE they want, WHEN they want and WITH whom they want (5 acts per night), the mechanic is similar to Groupon. Musician’s can register for free on TICKSTAGE and look up for venues to play for a minimum rate (small bands $300) or (mid sized bands ($500), they can filter the area they want to play, the preferred style of music and the day they want to play, charges can apply depending on the day chosen (weekend, holidays, etc).

Also, they can taylor make a TOUR PLAN for a flat rate, strategic planning for this service is free when signing for 10 or more gigs (ex: local tour, 10 concerts for $2000, the band will have $1000 in return from TICKSTAGE if the past concerts had 50% of positive reviews from the venues).

TICKSTAGE can start by building a 50+ database with local venues, first local, then regional, then global. These venues will benefit by getting their night spaced filled up every day, with the band’s payment in advance. The venues could have the right to pre-select each band without having to actually listen then, TICKSTAGE could confirm the band’s quality by giving 4 or 5 stars, 3 stars or less will depend on the venue’s taste. 90% of the band’s payment will go to the venues, while 10% will go to TICKSTAGE.

COMPETITORS

–       Reverbnation/live nation: just promotion, not real deals with venues.

–       Nuevostage: the most similar, but “only a few” get to play, and just in empty spaces (probably w/no people as well –too early, too late-).

–       Girando por Salas: supports bands that want to play live, but it’s contest-based, just a FEW get the chance to play live.

–       Bands in town: just informative, descriptive, no interaction for bands, just for fans (no room for beginners)

Some basic SWOT to consider:

Strenghts: unique service

Opportunities: thousands of unsigned artists/venues (make exclusivity contracts with them)… hundreds of opinion leaders.

Weakness: initial investment

Threats: big companies could copy this model without giving EVERY band the chance to freely play live wherever they want.

Investors invited…